Keepers Will Be Kept By The Keeper

Aside from the church of Smyrna, only one church of the churches mentioned in The Revelation receives no rebuke from Jesus. We can discover how to fit into that category from Jesus’ address to the church at Philadelphia.
Keepers Will Be Kept By The Keeper
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

In a previous article {1} we saw that the seven churches of Asia (Asia Minor) in the book of The Revelation Of Jesus Christ were not only seven churches that existed, but also depicted a timeline of the development of the Church down through the centuries to our present time as well as a snapshot of the Church as a whole as it is at any given point in time. Only two of those churches received no rebuke from Christ, Smyrna and Philadelphia.

Smyrna corresponds to the heavily persecuted Church. I write “heavily” because all true Christians eventually suffer persecution. Up

until this point in time some have suffered “less.” They have not had their goods confiscated, nor were they jailed, tortured or killed. I tend to think of Smyrna Christians as those who are experiencing those things.

The church of Philadelphia is addressed by Christ in Revelation 3:7-13. Here is the passage:

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
    He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
8 ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie--I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Because we are rapidly approaching the end of the Gentile Age which means the Great Tribulation period nears I felt it needful for this message to focus upon Jesus keeping certain people from the “hour of testing.” At first I was only going to use verse 10, but for us to follow that verse we need to consider a portion of verse 8. With that, we will see the following four things from our selected text.

I. The Strength Of The Keepers 8d

“. . . because you have a little power, . . ."

I must start with that phrase because without that power no one would truly desire and be able to keep the Lord’s Word. And it is most interesting to note that the Holy Spirit selected the Greek word “dunamis” for “power.” It is an interesting selection by the Holy Spirit because dunamis is connected with the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49). Permit me to be clear, though. I am not saying one must have the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be saved. While I maintain it is important to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is evidenced by speaking in tongues I also maintain, based upon other passages, that every true Christian has a level of the Holy Spirit even if they are not Pentecostal.

Dunamis is also connected with living in holiness (2 Timothy 3:5), and without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). So, the Spirit of Jesus is to reside in us (Romans 8:9). And with that, let us think of the word, “little." Is not Jesus Christ the stone that was “rejected by the builders" but became the cornerstone (Matthew 21:42)? And while “the builders" initially speaks of the Jewish religious leaders, the coming Stone cut without hands (Daniel 2:44-45) is currently mocked and ignored by many whether they be Jew or Gentile.

Now let us put the two words together, “little power” or, as some translations have it, “little strength.” Here consider the Lord’s statements of the mustard seed such as found in Matthew 17:20 about the removal of a mountain. And, the way He puts it, we naturally focus on the fact that the mustard seed is very small. But add in some of the other passages about that seed like Mark 4:31-32 {2} and we see not just size is important but quality. Now, think of Christ dwelling on the inside and consider 1 John 3:9 that shows Christ is that seed of God and within Him there is real power for anyone to stop sinning. This is why and how his disciples can do the following.

II. The Keepers 8e-f, 10a

8e-f: “. . . and have kept My word, and have not denied My name."
10a: “. . .  Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, . . . “

Originally I was just going to use verse 10 for this message but the reality is one cannot keep verse 10a unless they have Christ within and are living the latter portion of verse 8. And, as you can see, both verses have the word kept, and both are the same word in the Greek. This word can mean {3} to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard, metaphorically to keep one in the state in which he is, to observe, to reserve, and / or to undergo something. And the plain truth is, even though Christ dwells within, every true disciple has the responsibility to be a keeper.

And, foundationally we are, out of love for God, obligated to keep Christ’s Word so devotedly that we do not deny His name. We are not commanded to keep the word of a denomination, fellowship, church, apostle, prophet or any man {4}. We are commanded to keep the written Word, incarnate Word, and the directly spoken Word by His Spirit to our spirit.

“And have not denied My name.” Jesus (Yeshua) means “YHVH (The Existing One) is salvation.” One of the many things that Christ saves us from is sin. A true disciple is to remain true to the holy Name of Christ in life,


deeds, words, and thoughts both publicly and privately. It is true all disciples sin from time to time. However, the whole counsel of the Word of God exhorts each disciple to walk in His perfection by His grace. If we do sin there is forgiveness. If we practice sinning then that is usually an indicator that one has cast away His seed that was to reside in him.

Keeping His Word is to be continuous. We are to avoid the error of having a broken cistern that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). For “Because you have kept my word to persevere,” word is “logos” which can point to Christ Himself (John 1:1) and indicates that with Christ within one has the ability, the strength to persevere. Of the Greek word for persevere Strong writes that in the New Testament it is “the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.”

III. The Keeper 10b

“. . . I also will keep you from the hour of testing, . . .”
 
The Greek word here for “keep" is the same as the other two instances. “Hour” implies a short amount of time and many of us feel it is the seven or three and a half years that comprise the Great Tribulation period. Even at the longest span, seven years is just a blip on the long line of time since the world was created. “Testing” means, among other things, “an experiment, attempt, trial, proving."

Amongst most Holy Bible scholars there are two major lines of thought in regard to precisely how Jesus will keep true disciples from the Great Tribulation. True Christians will either be taken to heaven before the Great Tribulation, or they will remain on earth, protected from the wrath of God, although perhaps not the wrath of men. Regardless of what a Christian thinks about this matter, every true Christian should endeavor to finish their course here on earth without falling into His condemnation.

And most touching should be “I.” “I, Jesus” will keep the keepers from the hour of testing. That is, Jesus, who is Faithful and True (Revelation 3:14 and 19:11), and Who says to those who truly trust Him (Hebrews 13:5), “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." And the Holy Spirit through the writer of Hebrews adds, “So that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’”

IV. The Crushed 10c

“. . . that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

The Great Tribulation {5} will be a spiritual night (1 Thessalonians 5:1-7) and in all probability the night that comes when “no man can work” (John 9:4). It shall come as a snare (Isaiah 24:17-18, Luke 21:35). And it comes upon those who “dwell on the earth.”

Those who “dwell on the earth” refers to all who have not been born again by Christ. By contrast, those who are truly in Christ are described as having their citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20).

Additionally those who are truly saved are children of the day and not of the night (see 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7 again) and are well aware of the snare. As long as we remain in Christ we have our citizenship in heaven and are not among those who “dwell upon earth.” And, as we have seen from our text, every disciple has the responsibility to keep His Word (written, incarnate, spoken).

Notes:

{1} Please read Christ In The Midst Of The Church at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/christ-in-the-midst-of-the-church

{2} For more clarification on the mustard seed mentioned by Christ please read Remove The Snakeweed From The Mustard Seed at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/remove-snakeweed-mustard-seed .

{3} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{4} Used in the proper traditional sensible sense, denoting all people, male and female. I could not care less about being politically correct. 

{5} Find out why the wrath of God is coming upon the whole earth by reading Tornado Warning (From God) at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/tornado-warning-god .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 30, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M476 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

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  • nbillett  15-11-2017
    Indeed as disciples and children of God we do have a responsibility to be odedient and live a fulfilled life in Jesus Christ.
    reply 0
  • vpaulose  04-11-2017
    Nice post. Thank you.
    reply 0
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